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Apple Watch disconnecting from your iPhone when not on Wi-Fi? How-to fix

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The Apple Watch is such a fantastic device that there are plenty of people who jump ship from Android just to experience what a proper smartwatch is like. Apple has made such strides in the smartwatch world that it’s left the competition in the dust. And that’s not even including the various health benefits that are already available, along with what’s rumored to come in future iterations.

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It’s for those reasons that Watch owners get so frustrated when something doesn’t work right. Apple has fine-tuned this product to the point where we expect perfection. One common issue that keeps coming up is that your Watch will disconnect from your iPhone when not connected to Wi-Fi.

How to fix Watch disconnecting from iPhone when not on Wi-Fi

There are a few factors that could be at play as to why your Apple Watch won’t stay connected. One of these could be as simple as making sure that both your Watch and iPhone are updated to the latest version. Another could be that Airplane Mode was accidentally enabled, without you knowing.

Just reconnect it

The simplest and easiest way to get your Apple Watch paired back up to your iPhone is to just enable it in the Settings app. This may take a couple of seconds, but doesn’t require you to do anything extra.

Apple Watch in iPhone Bluetooth Settings

  1. Open the Settings app on your iPhone.
  2. Tap Bluetooth.
  3. Find your Apple Watch under My Devices, and tap it.

In my experience with this issue, I have found better success with leaving the Bluetooth menu open until it says Connected. In some instances, leaving the Settings app will leave my Apple Watch unpaired. This could force you to repeat the process again.

Check Airplane Mode

Airplane Mode is a quick and easy way to disable your wireless connections while on flight. These various radios can interfere with the equipment on Airplane, and is available on both your Watch and iPhone. Since accidental touches happen, especially with the Apple Watch, that you could have accidentally enabled Airplane Mode, which will disable any notifications.

In order to turn this back off, follow these steps:

Airplane Mode Toggle on Apple Watch

  1. Raise your wrist to light up your Watch screen.
  2. Swipe up from the bottom to reveal Control Center.
  3. With the crown, scroll down until you see the Airplane Mode logo.
  4. Tap it to turn it off.

After a few moments, you’ll likely get a slew of notifications as your Watch catches up to what it missed. But then, there should be no issues moving forward.

Is there an update available?

While Apple does a great job at providing new features to our iPhones and Apple Watches, and these come in the form of regular updates. However, these updates don’t just give us access to features that weren’t previously available. These updates also aim to get rid of “bugs” that were plaguing the operating system. So, you’ll want to check to make sure that both your iPhone and Apple Watch are updated.

To update an iPhone:

Check for iPhone Update Settings

  1. Open the Settings app on your iPhone.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Select Software Update.
  4. If an update is available, you will see a prompt to Download & Install.

After the update has downloaded, it will automatically be installed, provided that your iPhone is 50% charged.

To update an Apple Watch with an iPhone:

Check for Apple Watch Update Settings

  1. Open the Watch app on your iPhone.
  2. Scroll down and tap General.
  3. Select Software Update.
  4. If an update is available, you will see a prompt to Download & Install.

After the update has downloaded, it will automatically be installed, provided that your Apple Watch is connected to the charger. If not, it will install the update the next time that you connect your Watch to the charger.

To update the Watch directly, you must be connected to Wi-Fi, and then follow these steps:

Apple Watch Updates

  1. Open the Settings app on your Apple Watch
  2. Tap General.
  3. Select Software Update.
  4. Tap Install if the software update is available, and follow the on-screen instructions.

Try removing and re-pairing the Apple Watch to your iPhone

So your Apple Watch and iPhone are both updated to the latest version, and Airplane Mode is not turned on. What’s the next thing that you can to try and get these two pieces of technology back to communicating all of the time? Unfortunately, you’ll need to remove the Watch and pair it back to your iPhone. Here’s what you’ll need to do:

From your Apple Watch:

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Scroll down and tap Reset.
  4. Select Erase All Content and Settings.

From your iPhone:

Unpair Apple Watch from Watch app

  1. Open the Watch app.
  2. Select the My Watch tab.
  3. Tap the name of your Watch at the top of the screen.
  4. Tap the “I” icon next to the watch you want to unpair.
  5. Select Unpair Apple Watch.
  6. Tap again to confirm.

The process for removing the Apple Watch will wipe it completely clean, which will likely get rid of the bugs that are plaguing your experience. This could take a bit of time, as the Watch is not as fast when it comes to removing apps throughout the process of a reset.

If you don’t want to go through and set everything up again, you could restore from a backup during the setup process. This will put all of your apps back along with your settings, so it will be like you never left. But it may be a better idea to start from scratch, just to ensure that a lingering bug from another app doesn’t continue wreaking havoc.

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